Two community colleges have changes at the top

Shelton State and Coastal Alabama have new presidents

Dr. Jonathan Koh, president of Shelton State Community College.

The Alabama Community College System announced new presidents for two of the system’s colleges. Dr. Jonathan Koh has been named president of Shelton State in Tuscaloosa while Frazier Payne has been named interim president at Coastal Alabama in Bay Minette.

Koh, who has served in multiple capacities at Shelton State since 2015, most recently served as the college’s dean of workforce and economic development.

“There is a level of confidence a community has to have in its community college to make a difference in the needs of the businesses, industry and residents who make up a region, and for years Dr. Koh has built and strengthened the relationships that are necessary for Shelton State to be a change agent in the lives of so many individuals,” said Jimmy Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, Koh started his career at the University of Alabama where he served as research coordinator until his transition to Shelton State in 2015. At Shelton, he served as director of grants and governmental relations until his appointment as dean.

“Shelton State Community College is home, and I consider it one of the greatest honors to be able to lead such a dedicated team that is committed to ensuring the success of every student who chooses Shelton State as part of their educational experience,” said Koh.

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Frazier Payne, interim president of Coastal Alabama Community College.

Payne was named interim president of Coastal Alabama Community College upon the announcement of Dr. Craig Pouncey’s retirement.

Payne current serves as special assistant to the chancellor at Bishop State Community College. He joined Bishop in 2020 as a regional external and government affairs liaison. During his role as special assistant to the chancellor, Payne has implemented various improvements to programs and facilities, with a strategic focus on robust community engagement. He was also instrumental in starting Bishop State’s first aviation manufacturing technology program, which has trained more than 200 new Airbus employees as well as others.

“Each and every college in the Alabama Community College System serves a critical role in helping Alabamians, business and industry reach their greatest success, and I am confident that Frazier has what it takes to serve the Coastal Alabama community in such a way that continues to move the college forward,” said Baker. 

Prior to joining Bishop State’s staff, Payne worked for two members of Congress, Bradley Byrne and Jo Bonner.

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